Sundowns drop points in Tshwane derby thriller

web_photo_Evans Rusike_24022018

Evans Rusike of Supersport United challenged by Motjeka Madisa of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Supersport United at Lucas Moripe Stadium, Pretoria on 2 February 2018.

PRETORIA – Mamelodi Sundowns kept their five-year unbeaten league run against SuperSport United intact after coming from behind to claim a 1-1 Premiership draw at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday evening.

Although both sides had chances throughout a pulsating match in Attridgeville, it was Sundowns who enjoyed more of the play, yet they needed a 78th-minute goal from Percy Tau to claim a point.

Sundowns started strongly and had early chances as Themba Zwane fired wide, before Thapelo Morena and Khama Billiat both failed to get a decisive touch to a Tau cross.

Instead, it was Masandawana who took the lead against the run of play after 10 minutes when Richard Boateng&39;s long ball from the back released Thabo Mnyamane, who showed great composure to run in on goal and slip an 18-yard shot into the bottom corner.

The Brazilians worked hard for an equaliser but had no more than half chances as SuperSport keeper Ronwen Williams kept out Tau&39;s near-post flick on the half-hour mark and then saved a Zwane header.

Matsatsantsa could have extended their lead four minutes before the interval when the ball fell invitingly for Morgan Gould in the Sundowns box, but from close range he volleyed wide.

Pitso Mosimane&39;s team started the second half full of purpose and had good chances as Sibusiso Vilakazi narrowly missed with a shot from an acute angle before Gaston Sirino struck the post with a free kick and Tau had a decent appeal for a penalty turned down after a clumsy challenge from Clayton Daniels.

But again SuperSport struck on the break, Evans Rusike going clean through on goal on the hour mark only for his shot from the edge of the box to strike the upright.

Rusike then seemed set to add a second when he beat &39;Downs keeper Denis Onyango to the ball and was just about to slot home when he was called back for what looked a harsh off-side call.

But Sundowns came storming back and after a period of relentless pressure, they equalised 12 minutes from time when Hlompho Kekana&39;s free-kick picked out Tau, who controlled brilliantly before squeezing a shot past Williams.

Daniels should have put SuperSport back in front three minutes later, but from in front of goal, his shot lacked conviction and was well-saved by Onyango.

The action continued right up to the final whistle as Sundowns pushed for a winner, but there were no more clear-cut chances with a draw just about a fair reflection of the contest.